MFAW-VT faculty member Jan Clausen’s review of new poetry and hybrid works appears in the July/August issue of the Women’s Review of Books. She addresses Ada Limón’s poetry collection The Carrying and Amy Fusselman’s lyric essay Idiophone.
On Writers, Writer’s Block, Generosity, Creativity and Community
I just started rehearsals for a ten-day workshop a relatively new play of mine: BORN IN EAST BERLIN. The workshop is at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. I decided to blog the first day.
At this past residency in Vermont, a few faculty members were sitting around before a meeting, talking about nothing in particular, and then one of us, for whatever reason that made sense in the moment, was describing a scene in
Whenever you bump up against a writing situation that feels impossible, remember the Sugar Balloon, and all the experimentation, tenacity, innovation, determination, and risk that it took to arrive at this floating answer to a once-thought-impossible question.
The paragraph or so of writing in preparation for this post I began on an empty page of an old, located notebook, one that flips vertically like a police ticket or meter maid book, but unlike law enforcement trappings
By chance or design, I held the words of the Salvadoran poet Claribel Alegría, later translated by poet Carolyn Forche and published by Pittsburgh in Flowers from the Volcano.
But beauty is still important, isn’t it? It seems to me and other fairly intelligent people in America, that we are living in a time when the failure to describe the time we are living in is truly mystifying. So, please bear with me—I will get to today’s reason for all of us being here, but I don’t know what to say to you today that somehow hasn’t come out of outrage and disbelief—outrage and disbelief at the fact that one of the last bastions of seemingly liberal thought—the fourth estate—has normalized an aberration.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about thrillers. About why recently I’ve been reading them compulsively at all hours of the day and night. Maybe the subject for a new book? I’m thinking about that. In the meantime I devour them at a great rate.
Because Yearning and Dread is the theme of our upcoming Goddard residency, I’ve been thinking lately about the role these emotions play in my own writing, and as I look back over my fiction, particularly my novels, it seems pretty clear that the yearning and dread that fuel my work revolve around my parents.
Here in the contemplative realms of the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, I’ve lost track of time. I wander among timepieces and pendulums, spheres that chart the stars, and Earth globes with halos of hours at their poles, each artifact a survivor from its Renaissance birth through the firebombing of Dresden in World War II. Having lain undisturbed during the Iron Curtain years, these relics have arrived intact at the Age of Digitalia…
2018 marks two milestones in my life.
This past March, I turned 40, which everyone assures me is the new 30. (It’s also, unsurprisingly, the old 60, but no one wants to talk about that.) To celebrate my fortieth birthday, my husband attempted to coerce me into having a celebration worthy of the occasion, a lavish gathering of family and friends and colleagues, crammed into a modestly priced rental hall to eat finger foods we didn’t cook set to music we only vaguely remembered selecting. I refused. Does anybody really need to see me drunk and dancing awkwardly to another Macklemore song about inclusion? I don’t think so.
After almost twenty years of teaching in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard, I am going to retire. When I first started working at Goddard, there was one campus only, in Vermont. I went to Plainfield, where I’d
Wanderer was one of the last documented ships to carry an illegal cargo of slaves from Africa to the United States, landing at Jekyll Island, Georgia on November 28, 1858, arriving with some 400 slaves who survived the voyage from Angola.
After almost twenty years in the making, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto reflects on the many influences and the long process of bring a novel into the world. On Friday, this essay appeared on Lit Hub’s Crime Reads. “My novel was sparked by a true crime, but it refused to become a thriller. Nearly two decades ago, a friend of mine was raped…”